Northern Cyprus

Trip to the Karpas peninsula

The most deserted part of Northern Cyprus

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Trip to the Karpas peninsula
Inserted: 04.05.2021
Author: Martin Javorský © gigaplaces.com
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After the violent partition of Cyprus in 1974, tourism in the north controlled by Turkey almost disappeared. Although it has started to develop more strongly in recent years, there are still plenty of deserted places in the increasingly popular Northern Cyprus. Among them, perhaps the most deserted part is the easternmost and at the same time the northernmost tip – the elongated Karpas peninsula. There is no public transport in this area, so the only option is a taxi or renting your own car. Driving a rented car does not lack an adventurous touch, driving left on narrow roads full of potholes really requires increased attention. Roads gradually deteriorate with each kilometer and it is necessary to react quickly to unexpected large holes – car insurance does not cover the destruction of tires or chassis.

Entrance to the reservation

Immediately after entering the nature reserve, passengers will meet groups of wild donkeys who inhabit the area. These docile animals lurk in groups on cars and block the road. They usually clear the path only after the crew hands them carrots. It is therefore advantageous to buy them in advance or to get them from helpful boys who offer carrots at the entrance.

Entrance to the reservation
Author: Martin Javorský © gigaplaces.com

Donkey car inspection

Donkeys are experienced and intrusive, they do not hesitate to put their big heads in the car and calmly drool the whole window, if passengers do not pull it fast enough. It is necessary to drive slowly and oncoming cars can sometimes be avoided only at the cost of scratching the left side of the car.

Donkey car inspection
Author: Martin Javorský © gigaplaces.com

Apostolos Andronos Monastery

Definitely worth a longer stop is the monastery of Apostolos Andronos, which welcomes pilgrims twice a year and is perhaps one of only two functional Christian tabernacles in all of Northern Cyprus. The main church dates from 1740 and is surrounded by a relatively large area. It seems that after a certain period of decay, investment in the area has begun again and is now undergoing extensive reconstruction. However, it is still a very secluded area, where more traffic is manifested only on the occasion of pilgrimages. The pilgrimage is evidenced by a large parking lot for buses and a number of stalls with souvenirs. After a tour of the monastery complex, it is definitely refreshing to refresh yourself with freshly squeezed orange and pomegranate juice or Turkish coffee. Sitting directly above the rocky shore overlooking the sea and the monastery is a pleasant stop before the final section of the road to the very top of the island.

Apostolos Andronos Monastery
Author: Martin Javorský © gigaplaces.com

The farthest tip of the peninsula

At the very top it is about 5 km, but challenging roads. It is quite unpleasant on foot in the heat and dust, and it is also difficult by car, because the asphalt disappears completely from the road and there are good holes on the dirt road.

The farthest tip of the peninsula
Author: Martin Javorský © gigaplaces.com

Then only Syria

Those who manage to do so will arrive at the very end of the peninsula at Cape Apostolos Andreas (Turkish Zafer Burnu). This is where Cyprus ends and sinks into the sea. Then there is only a cluster of rocky islands of Kleides. Syria is less than 100 km across the water.

Then only Syria
Author: Martin Javorský © gigaplaces.com

Trek Beşparmak (Pentadaktylos)

At the very edge of the peninsula is a stone slab marking the end of the beautiful 255 km long trek Beşparmak (Pentadaktylos), which runs along the entire north coast and usually takes 8 days. 10th century, necropolis and old Roman port. Recently, trekking has been gradually developing in the area, allowing you to enjoy untouched nature, beautiful sea views and the ruins of ancient buildings.

Trek Beşparmak (Pentadaktylos)
Author: Martin Javorský © gigaplaces.com

Rock lookout and guardhouse

Above all this rises a view of the rock, on which the huge flags of Northern Cyprus and Turkey fly proudly. Looking at the flag of Northern Cyprus, which is practically the reverse version of the Turkish flag, everyone can recall the complex history of the northern part of Cyprus.

Rock lookout and guardhouse
Author: Martin Javorský © gigaplaces.com

Donkeys also guard the exit of cars

It is advisable to hide a few carrots on the way back, because donkeys control the way really consistently. After leaving the reservation, the lookout at the heavily shabby bungalows is definitely worth a stop. There is one of the very few accommodation options and a restaurant with breathtaking views of the mountains, the sea and the beach.

Donkeys also guard the exit of cars
Author: Martin Javorský © gigaplaces.com
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